Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
on December 10, 2009
This is a tough CD to review because, on one hand, the music on this disc is really quite good, mostly 5-star material. On the other hand, it is such a flawed collection that I just can't bring myself to give it five stars.
Here's the problem: the attraction of this album is that it contains several alternate versions of his songs, and exclusive tracks that collectors like myself are going to want to own. However, it also features a lot of songs that are identical to the album versions, which I already own on the original albums. These songs are: "Watermelon Man," "Trouble Will Soon Be Over," and "Canned Heat Blues" from his Legend of Tommy Johnson album, and "Death Letter Blues," "Dark Cloud," "Sinking Feeling," and "Raining Angels" from the Red Mud album. Moreover, the last few songs, i.e., "Midnight Special," "Martha's Blues," "Cotton Fields," and "CC Rider" all seem to be cut off, as they fade out after around a minute, just as the song is getting going. Martha's Blues is only 24 seconds long! These tracks are frustrating and unnecessary in their truncated versions.
So since I already own the Red Mud and Tommy Johnson albums, and the last four songs are too short to be worthwhile, that only leaves 8 tracks out of 19 that held any interest for me. I kind of resent having to buy the whole album for those tracks, but I did anyway. Damn you, Chris Thomas King!
In conclusion, this might be a good introductory CD if you're new to the artist -- all those recycled songs ARE good tunes -- but if you own the original albums this CD is just kind of frustrating.